[SOLUTION] Receiver Coffee Case
My teacher’s note:I am not looking just for right answers; you should answer as best you can without worrying about that. I do expect you to write thoughtfully, and to comment on other students answers thoughtfully.Answer all the questions in bold.Descartes says that if you start out with a false idea, then that will lead you on to more false ideas. So if you believe that the earth isflat, which is false, what else will you believe, that will also be false? And can you think of other examples that illustrate this same principle?In my notes, I ask (so you can answer here): Have you ever had dreams (or nightmares) so vivid that they seemed to you to be quite real, while you were dreaming? Can you describe how you might have shown, while you were dreaming, that you took the dream to be real? Have you ever awakened from a dream (or nightmare) and, for a moment or two, were not sure whether you were still dreaming or not? Do you agree with Descartes that because dreams are so vivid and realistic, we can never really tell whether we are awake or dreaming?As mentioned in my notes, our author compares Descartes worries that there might be an Evil Genius to the plot of the movie The Matrix. Here is the point of the comparison, which helps to illuminate what Descartes means by this Evil Genius: how can you, or I, or anyone be sure that their mind is not being manipulated by someone or something they are quite unaware of? If you cant be sure, then for Descartes, everything you believe might be false. Except, of course, for that one certainty he claims he discovers, that he exists. So you can imagine someone in a Matrix-like situation who could do what Descartes did, arrive at the certainty of his own existence. But here is a question for you: what good, in that situation, would that do for him?
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